Marcia handles the 'Town' end of things while I handle the Barra de Kwanza end. This leaves me responsible for the construction works, maintenance of vehicles, generator and buildings, cooking, cleaning and looking after however many kids are under our charge at any one time.
Currently I am responsible for three very boisterous boys. Like all boys, they fight constantly and over anything. I do like the classic car programmes we get here and the boys let me watch them (there's only about one every two days) but they will see a lime green sixties Lamborghini Muira and shout out, 'That's my car!' and then fight over who claimed it first. They clearly have good (and sadly expensive) taste when it comes to classic cars but it is a real pain in the arse peeling them apart.
Today, on my list, was sorting out the oven which I think has an electrical short, the supply to the ice cream machine which I know has an electrical short because the dick head in the shop tried to tap off its supply to plug something in he should not have (two unearthed wires to power a television), service the Jeep and check progress on the third site. These are all routine items. What I really wanted to do was perfect my drink for alcoholics. Just as it is with cigarettes, alcohol consumption is habitual as well as addictive. A cup of coffee can only be enjoyed with a cigarette. Sitting behind a keyboard and typing requires the lubricant of both alcohol and cigarettes.
I shall substitute the cigarettes with E Cigarettes. A mate of mine brought some in from UK and says they are brilliant. He hasn't smoked a real fag since he started. Given that he was a chain smoker, I was mightily impressed, and pissed off to the eyeballs he failed to think of me when he made his purchase in UK. When he told me he felt so much better, I wanted to kill him.
My rowing machine will only get here in the New Year so I need a substitute, with a real kick, to stop me schlurping the whisky juice every five minutes. I have the ingredients. It will take me two days to make it so I really wanted to get cracking.
So I indulged the boys. I chased them around the garden. I gave them jobs to do that they would like such as collecting coconuts and letting them loose with machetes to get at the juice. I chased them around some more and let them strip off and play with the well hose and soak themselves stupid. I made them steak, roast potatoes, beans with bacon and broccoli for lunch.
Finally, exhausted, they fell asleep. I switched the TV channel from cartoons to the Afro Music channel, a truly excellent ethnic African music channel aimed at Angolan and Moxambican audiences. No stupid rap or shrilly black American female singers whining on about how their ‘Man don’ do dem no good’. Think Cuba before the revolution. The boys sighed and fell into an even deeper sleep.
Just then Dominic arrived!
‘Hello Daddy!’ he yelled in a deep voice long since broken.
‘SSSHHH!’ I hissed pointing at the sleeping boys, ‘Great to see you!’ I continued in a hoarse whisper, ‘Bloody hell, you’ve grown!’
‘Have I?’ he whispered in reply.
We stood side by side so I could prove he, at fourteen (OK, fifteen in March), was as tall as I am. He really is a lanky sod.
‘So you passed your exams, eh?’ I said, ‘I’ve been bugging your Mother about you coming to me for the hols but she said only if you passed. I knew you would, that’s why I sent the car.’
‘I know Dad. When you rang Mother this morning, she answered it on speaker and everyone heard what you said!’
‘Oh dear,’ I replied, ‘but you are here now so no harm done.’
I suppose it was a bit mean to rope the lad straight into a bit of hard work but I really wanted to crack the Jungle Juice I needed. I have steadily cut down on the whisky and am now on only half a bottle a day. I know I can do better. That way when the rowing machine and the E-cigs arrive, I can really get stuck into getting fit again and when I get my hands on the Nalmafene, I can finally put the self-induced torment of the last few years to bed. So I told Dominic about my plan.
‘Well, let’s go for it then!’ he said.
At that moment, Marcia came in, poked Alex in the ribs and asked him if he was sleeping. I couldn’t believe it. It had taken me ages to get them down and she had just destroyed all my effort. Alex leapt bolt upright.
‘Dominic!’ he yelled, waking the other two boys.
While the boys had been asleep, before Dominic’s happy arrival, I had laid out the ingredients for my new special Divert-Alcoholics-From-Alcohol drink on the dining table so that I could photograph them for my humble blog. Alex caught sight of them and exclaimed, ‘Are you making a special drink for me?’
What more support could an old soak attempting to cure himself ask for than the that of all his boys?
So we got stuck in together.
|Ginger, lemons and Limes, Cider vinegar, Sugar, Vitamin B Complex, Sugar, Water|
The main ingredient of my top secret drink is fresh ginger root. If this drink is going to work, it needs one hell of a kick. All I could get was a bagful of wild ginger root. Wild ginger is, allegedly, the very best but believe me, the stuff you get in supermarkets, the farmed kind, is a damn sight easier to deal with and I defy anyone to tell the difference once it is incorporated into a meal or, as in this case, a drink. It is impossible to peel. It comes out of the soil with half of Africa clinging to it and is so gnarled and knobbly, no peeler can get into all the nooks and crannies.
|Wild Ginger. How the hell do you peel this?|
Nothing else for it, we would have to break them up and scrub them with a stiff brush and keep rinsing them.
|They may have looked fairly clean but this is what comes off them|
|Keep scrubbing and rinsing until the water stays clean when you swirl the ginger around. |
No need to bother with peeling.
While the boys were busy with that, I sliced about a dozen lemons and limes in half and juiced them to get about two thirds of a glass.
The boys threw a few handfuls of ginger into the blender along with half a pint of water and blitzed the hell out of them. In the meantime, Dominic had sorted out a colander, a bowl to place beneath it, and lined the colander with muslin to act as a filter. While the boys blitzed and poured, Dominic squeezed. We did two blender jugs like that and then for the final, third blitz, we used the lemon juice and only enough water to keep it fluid. I added half a cup of Cider vinegar and four tablets of Vitamin B Complex, just what us Alcy’s need to stop us going insane. It was John Delaney over at Fish Creek Spinners who suggested to me a while ago I try Cider Vinegar mixed with any kind of fizzy drink so I thought it couldn’t hurt in this recipe. I wasn’t hopeful of finding any but amazingly, I scored a small bottle of cider vinegar. I can understand why he suggested Cider Vinegar, it doesn’t taste bad at all and really reeks of cider.
|Dominic adding water to the first batch|
|Mauro and Alex, still in their soccer strip, get in on the act|
|Straining the liquid through muslin|
|Squeezing the liquid out|
|Adding the lemon and lime juice to the final batch. I added four vitamin B complex tablets at this stage.|
I will get round to tiling the kitchen walls, I promise!
The resultant liquid looked the second hand tea one might see on Delhi station platforms during a mass outbreak of dysentery.
Dominic and I took a sip each.
‘It’s only a bit bitter because it hasn’t settled yet!’ I said hopefully as I cradled his heaving shoulders.
We decanted it into two empty one and a half litre plastic mineral water bottles. I reckon we got over two litres of the mix.
Now the liquid has to settle out. So we stuck the two bottles in the fridge.
‘We should leave this for at least twenty four hours’, I told Dominic.
This is what it looked like the next day. The sediment forming nicely leaving a beautiful pink and clear liquid above. A Rosé from Hell.
|Our first batch|
He gave me a look. I was disconcerted. This was my baby boy. I could tell by the timbre of his voice his balls had long since dropped and he was as tall as I was but I was nevertheless shocked to see clearly written in his eyes, ‘You wussie, go on, let’s give it a go!’
So I decanted a glass.
‘You first,’ I said.
‘No, it’s your honour,’ he replied as if we were gentlemen golfers, ‘it’s your invention.’
‘You know,’ I said, ‘this could be the greatest invention in the world of beverages since Red Bull.’
‘Try it, then,’ he said.
‘Imagine, we could have our own Formula One Team!’ I continued.
‘Get on with it!’ Dominic said.
‘We need a name,’ I said, ‘something catchy.’
‘Call it DomTom for all I care,’ said Dominic, ‘just take a swig!’
‘DomTom! That’s brilliant Dom!’ I exclaimed. ‘DomTom, Makes your Dick reach the floor!’
We both took a swig. It worked. Our legs fell off.
It is BRILLIANT!
We had to have some more. Alex, Mauro and Va Va came in and were clearly interested seeing us two standing there in the kitchen evidently enjoying the fruit of their labour so wanted a go as well. There is no alcohol in it so what the hell? We gave them a glass to try. It blew their heads off.
‘Try mixing it with Sprite,’ said Dominic.
Good idea, I thought so I hauled out a big bottle of ice cold Sprite and diluted their glass.
‘MMM!’ said Dominic before handing the glass to Va Va. Va Va drained it and Mauro got upset. We fed Mauro a shot of Devil’s Brew diluted with Sprite. He drained his glass as well.
‘Let me try it with Sprite,’ I asked Dominic. He prepped me a glass. It really was good. I gave Dom the last half of my glass. ‘This is excellent, Dad,’ he said having finished it off.
‘You aren’t going to put this recipe on your blog are you Dad?’ he asked.
‘Yes, why not?’
‘Someone could steal it. You haven’t patented it. You publish this and you are essentially giving it away.’
Dominic is fourteen years old. What the hell does he know about patent laws?
‘Dominic,’ I said, ‘You are fourteen years old, what the hell do you know about Patent Laws?’
‘If you really want to publish this you must at least make it clear that all rights are reserved. You should say that this is your invention and that you are only sharing it with your regular readers who may use the recipe for non-commercial use. Anyone infringing this will be processed.’
‘Processed?’ I asked him thinking of tins of peas.
‘Taken to court,’ he said.
‘Where the hell did you learn all this!’ I asked him.
‘At school.’ he said.
Bloody hell; no wonder Angolan workforces are so Bolshie!
So, to satisfy Dominic: “This is an amazing drink that was invented by me and a bloke I have never met, John Delaney, so all commercial rights to this astonishing beverage belong to him and me. Anyone infringing this rule will be shot. Survivors will be shot again”.
Dominic, the budding County Attorney has just told me I am not allowed to say that.
OK, so I am not saying that, I am just thinking very seriously it might be a likely outcome for anyone attempting to market the recipe without the permission of TD and myself.
I know that all the medical advice I have received suggests that it would be dangerous for me to just stop drinking alcohol in one go. Apparently I run the risk of a withdrawal syndrome which can cause seizures, hallucinations and the like (DTs). But I can’t go on like this. I was hoping to get hold of Nalmafene to help me manage the desire to drink but, sadly, I have not found a source. I was advised against importing the rowing machine until the New Year as the airport is stuffed with uncleared Christmas cargo and with the clearance delays, I would end up paying a fortune in Demurrage. Here I am with a perfectly feasible plan offering a high chance of success yet I remain foiled by circumstance and bloody rules.
Left with no other alternative, I decided to go ‘Cold Turkey’. A bottle of whisky per day to zero, just like that, and drink DomTom® instead.
This is my third alcohol free day.
*squeals with delight* Good for you Tom! I cant say I know how hard this must have been for you, because I dont. But the sheer amount of effort and fortitude it must have taken staggers me. I think its amazing.ReplyDelete
Hardest thing I have ever done!Delete
good-o for reformed drinkers,ReplyDelete
thanks, DinDin. We are about due a post on your blog, aren't we?Delete
This is all pure genius. When I finally quit smoking it was cold turkey. Suffer it and get it over with. That was five years ago.ReplyDelete
Keep making the juice. Hydration is a good thing. You know what they say here, Get 'er done. So, Get 'er done.
I think the genius of it was my idea with the ginger combined with John Delaaney's idea of the cider vinegar. I mean vinegar, I would never have thought of that!Delete
Well done Tom ~ 3 days! But I am not clear ~ are you doing it on the DomTom juice or was it a once off?ReplyDelete
I drink the juice every time I feel the need for a whisky. I drink a lot of DomTom!Delete
Fine looking lad that young Dom ~ very photogenic and sure to have the girls chasing him (in time)Delete
Wait until you hear his voice with that subtly erotic foreign lilt to his accent. I've seen girl's knickers spontaneously combust just because he said hello to them.Delete
Sounds absolutely great! Are the vitamine B tablets essential or just healthy?ReplyDelete
For Alcoholics, vitamin B is essential:Delete
Thiamine is often used during withdrawal to avoid risks such as Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
The concoction sounds positively frightening, but if it helps you cut back on the booze a bit that would be good. If it really is that good you literally will have made lemonade out of the lemons life gave you and you may really have something you can market at the shop. I can see it now, Dom, fire up the cement mixer.... we need to make a big batch of TomDom Angolan viagra.ReplyDelete
Over here the nicotine patches seem to be quite popular as they seem to help break the habitual act of lighting up while reducing the nicotine intake.
I have a cement mixer, I might get Dom to clean it out!Delete
That stuff sounds wicked good!! B vitamins are also good at calming anxiety-which is what I would be from quiting anything cold turkey! Beets are good for cleansing the liver. Just sayin' Take careReplyDelete
Barb from Canada
Is that raw beet or the red, stain anything pickled kind? Might try whizzing a few into the mix!Delete
The best thing is to juice the raw beets, but you need a really good juicer to do that. Next would be to try doing them in the blender with some water and strain them, maybe? My son is into juicing and does the raw ones with apple.Delete
Ah, raw beet will be a problem for us here but I was surprised to find cider vinegar so I will trawl around.Delete
Red beets are easy to grow, and the green tops are much like spinach to eat.Delete
One day at a time :-)
Hats off to you, and the very best of luck to you. I am very impressed. Keep drinking the domtom!ReplyDelete
Thanks Judith. I just hope excessive ginger consumption has no unwanted side effects!Delete
Dom Tom sounds really interesting, but a lot of work! I wish I could try some without having to go through all those steps! :)ReplyDelete
Good luck to you in your efforts to quit drinking. Happy holidays to you and your family!
The hardest part is scrubbing the ginger but the rest is easy. At least you do not have to bother peeling it!Delete
I hope you all have a merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.
Oh well done Tom. A great plan. Deciding to make your substitute drink will keep you busy and give you something to sip on in place of the bad stuff . We're all cheering you on!!ReplyDelete
Fourth day on DomTom now!Delete
I am amazed at your endeavours, and pleased to hear that they are having the desired effect.ReplyDelete
I have been juicing for over ten years, but purely for nutritional reasons. It's not surprising that my recipes include ginger, (but only about a thumb size), and lemon, (and kale, guava or apple, celery, carrot, green papaya etc). After eating something solid - today half a mango with Greek yoghurt - I drink a tablespoon of chilled ACV, (with the "mother") with an equal part of water.
I really hope this all works for you; we're now your sponsors. And we're tough!
I suppose it would be fair to say that after four alcohol free days now just about all the alcohol will be out of my system? I have not noticed any withdrawal symptoms yet other than the constant craving and a slight irritability both of which so far under control.Delete
Now that I have my own decent blender, I shall be trying some of your juicing recipes.
Ah, for juicing you need a juicer. Well worth it. A blender makes smoothies.Delete
I hope you'll keep a crate of rouge somewhere, just in case I call.ReplyDelete
I've sold the rights, so your ® is already an infringement. Best wishes to the boys!
I have a shop full of wines and spirits. The wine comes mainly from Portugal, South Africa and Chile but I will get a crate of something decent in for you.Delete
Congratulations on selling the rights. When can I expect my ten per cent and paddock tickets for the DomTom Formula One racing team?
Congratulations! Hang in there.ReplyDelete
How's the toe?
Thanks. The toe is fine, a bit scarred but fine. I am not going to bore everyone with a photo!Delete
Good for you. I hear lots of candy helps and exercise. Just remember one day at a time.ReplyDelete
I'll go with the exercise, I am fat enough as it is!Delete
Bloody brilliant Tom! Proud of you.ReplyDelete
(By the way, I'm in the city and quizzed Clive about your ten books. He reckons he is "onto it.")
It's about time I did something.Delete
It's about time Clive did something.
What a lovely looking boy your Dominic is. I am forever looking for a non alchy drink in a pub, rather than the white wine that I favour. Not keen on sweet fruit juice and anything with " fizz" gives me a bloated tum, which doesn't leave much else! Well done on the 3 days alcohol free.ReplyDelete
Four days now!Delete
Try making up a batch and see what you think. Instead of mixing it with lemonade, you could try various different fruit juices. I would try passion fruit as that has a bit of a tang to it as well.
ps. That was a great read over breakfast on a grey and windy morning in Hertfordshire. (The legs dropping off made me laugh) Waiting for a bit more light before going out with the pup!ReplyDelete
I am glad someone got the joke. Dominic thought it was hilarious!Delete
That's fantastic Tom ! Great post. Dom will go far me thinks.ReplyDelete
Glad you enjoyed it. I hope Dominic goes far as well. He is a very bright young man.Delete
I hear you on the dual addictions. Only way I could give up smoking was to give up coffee for a year and switch to tea. Smoking and tea was a nasty combo, so it was much easier to quit. Besides the beets, cabbage/kale/Brussels sprouts will remove toxins from the liver and also have a calming effect on your thyroid (anxiety). Best of luck. That final rose color of your de-tox beverage was a complete surprise. Lovely.ReplyDelete
Cabbage, both red and white are available fresh and Brussels are available frozen. I have to confess we do not eat enough vegetables so I will rectify that. Alex loves Broccoli so he gets loads.Delete
It is a surprise once it settles out. Also, the sludge, for want of a better word, when remixed with water and allowed to settle, produces one more solution almost as good so I can stretch it out.
That was a hell of a different looking drink at the end. It even looks good. Shouldn't there have been a picture of an attractive young lady helping out in the making of it?ReplyDelete
Congrats on 4 clear days and not getting too cranky with everyone.
Next time the nieces are here I will have them run up a batch for me and turn it into an advert for DomTom,Delete
I have just re-read this post so I can catch up on the comments. You have some great commenters! Are you up to day 5 now? I am going to have a bash at making a Kiwi version of DomTom, I think all that ginger can do a power of good for every body. The only ginger I can get hold of here is imported from Fiji and probably not as powerful as African wild ginger, but a lot easier to clean and peel! BTW, I was married to an alcoholic for a while (many years ago) so I have a bit of an idea about cravings. Go for it. The Blogosphere is on your side.ReplyDelete
I am sure Fijian ginger would be even better. Today is five days alcohol free. Thanks for your encouragement! Oh, and do try DomTom, it really is good!Delete
doesn't cider vinegar cleanse your insides?ReplyDelete
I imagine it would!Delete
A friend who was in AA many decades ago once told me that it takes many weeks for alcohol to completely clear your system. The last place it hangs out is in your bones.ReplyDelete
I'm cheering you on. Having lived with a functional alcoholic for over 20 years, I have great empathy for the task you have undertaken.
Bones, eh? Ah well, I guess I need to be patient and hang in there!Delete
Why not rustle up some DomTom for your partner and give it a try?
Way to go, Tom!!ReplyDelete
An older friend of mine consumes copious amounts of ginger to help ease his arthritis symptoms. If he misses a few days, his hands start to ache, reminding him he needs to keep on ingesting the ginger.
I hope you can find your flasks so you can load up on your DomTom when you've got to attend the wedding.
Now that is an idea! I'll make up a batch, bottle it and take it with me, I am sure they will let me put it behind the bar.Delete
Finally caught up with youReplyDelete
And although it sounds patronizing I , like Sarah, am proud of you.
Glad vit b is on your list of ingredients
Have you any access to diazepam?
A couple may help if things get " jittery"
Way to go tom!
I will make you all proud!Delete
By the way, a mate of mine is DHL'ing me an E Cigarette kit. I am going to stop smoking AS WELL!Delete
Might as well get all the pain over and done with at the same time.
Well done Uncle Tom! I hope you haven't lapsed since Sunday. I have taken the patent advice on board and therefore promise that I shall not be attempting to manufacture any DomTom of my own.Sigh! I guess I will have to stick to Tetley's bitter. I am not sure how many units I am allowed a week. Is a unit a barrel or a hogshead?ReplyDelete
Still clean, YP. A hogshead (well, it used to be for me!)Delete
One day at a time is the way to go. I truly do wish you well.ReplyDelete
Thank you Libby, At least I am beginning to be able to remember my days now!Delete
Keep on, keeping on:) Best of luck :) xxxxReplyDelete
After doing some online research, I got my first e-cig kit at VaporFi.ReplyDelete